November 1, 2014

Utah’s Best Food Blogs II

I’ve come to learn that The food blogger is a particular breed of foodie who likes to eat and talk at the same time. This trait can really end up getting in the way of enjoying a good meal. Thank goodness for laptops because now these people can substitute the talking for typing. Still, try not to spill your butternut squash gnocchi on your keyboard while you are blog-eating.

For 2010’s top food blogs, we have created a new list and asked each blogger to answer a few general questions about their projects and how local culture affects their culinary choices and food experience.

In alphabetical order, here are Utah Stories’ favorite sites for the gastronomically inclined.  To read the full responses from each blog, scroll down towards the bottom of the page.


Burnt Sugar Fudge Ripple Ice Cream by Phe/MOM/enon

Cook with Tom by Tom Woodbury
“In addition to hosting a cooking show via Comcast on Demand, I’m also a regular culinary contributor to Good Things Utah on ABC 4.  My background is in the geeky part of food, focusing on chemical, biological, and physical reactions that take place in the kitchen.”
www.cookwithtom.com

Delightful Delicacies by Jen Johnson
“I really love to cook, and so here I will document all my mishaps and achievements, past, present and future to share with all. My hope is that others will want to share their ideas and recipes”

http://delightfuldelicacies.blogspot.com/

Gastronomic Salt Lake City
Utah’s premier restaurant review site:  “For a tastier life, one bite at a time.”

www.gastronomicslc.com

Kalyn’s Kitchen
Kalyn’s Kitchen is a home cooking blog focusing on recipes that are low on the glycemic index, suitable for the South Beach Diet or other types of low-glycemic eating plans.  The blog also featured occasional restaurant spotlights, gardening tips, and product recommendations.

http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/

Phe/MOM/enon by Holly Hanks
“PheMOMenon is all about baking and cooking, often with three small children running wild. I am trying to conquer my world, one recipe at a time.”

http://phemomenon.blogspot.com

Prudence Pennywise

“Healthful, beautiful, fast, and delicious meals. My goal is to feed my family of four scandalously good food on about $100 a week.”
http://prudencepennywise.blogspot.com/

She Craves by Vanessa Chang
“Food, in all its imprecise, evocative, maddening, comforting glory. There are recipes, food photos and plenty of anecdotes and observations to guide you through how to make a quick bread and how to survive a developing and dysfunctional relationship with the kitchen.

http://shecraves.typepad.com/

Stephanie’s Kitchen
by Stephanie Younger
“I love to eat good, simple food. I have a house full of picky eaters, so I definitely cook simple, easy meals. I enjoy creating my own recipes, it is such a fun process and so rewarding when you get to take that first bite of something you created from scratch!

www.stephanieskitchen.com

Two Peas and their Pod by Maria and Josh Lichty, the “cooking couple.”
“On the blog, you will find healthy recipes along with some sweet indulgences; they always save room for dessert. Visit Two Peas and Their Pod for fabulous recipes-their kitchen is always open.

www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

Sweet Potato Leek Soup by Delightful Delicacies

Cook with Tom by Tom Woodbury

www.cookwithtom.com

  1. There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success.  What separates your blog apart from the rest?

I think my focus on the science of the kitchen in a way that makes it fun and easy to understand how basic reactions create incredible food.  People that read my blog tell me that they never thought about food as chemistry, and are amazed how much better their recipes are once they apply a few basic principles they learned on my site.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?

Getting to know other local foodies.  I was recently researching an ingredient for an upcoming segment.  While I was walking through the downtown farmers market I had a great chat with John Borski about the ingredient and made a great friend.  Food is an incredible unifier.  We all have to eat!

  1. How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary choices and food experience?
There are some amazing Culinarians in this state, and I have the privilege of cooking for them weekly on ABC 4’s Good Things Utah.  It’s through that interaction that I learn about incredible local ingredients.  Be it the great lavender infused and espresso rubbed “Barely Buzzed” cheese from Beehive Cheese, or lamb lollipops from Morgan Valley.  Some of the world’s best ingredients come from Utah.
  1. If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?
Without a doubt it’s my Altitude Adjusted Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  The recipe was developed as a “backup plan,” just in case I ever needed to do a great recipe on TV with little notice.  I got a call on a Monday asking if I could do a recipe on Tuesday, and so I pulled it out of the file.  It is the most popular recipe I’ve ever developed.  (Although my short rib recipe is pretty killer too!)
  1. Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently.  To what do you attribute this growth in interest?
People LOVE food.  It’s a way to be both utilitarian and artistically expressive.  Blogging seems like a natural outlet to show off the incredible things created in Utah kitchens.  I’m amazed at the food I see fellow bloggers putting together.  Their presentations are so inspiring!
  1. How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah?
Food blogging has a unifying effect on the food culture.  I’m surprised at how often I’ll bump into someone at an event and find out that we read similar food blogs.  We become instant friends, compare notes on different blogs, and then talk again at the next event about the shared love of food.  It’s a great way to stay up to speed on the latest trends in Utah food.

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Delightful Delicacies by Jen Johnson

http://delightfuldelicacies.blogspot.com/

There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success. What separates your blog apart from the rest?

I’m not sure; I like to think it’s my whit and prose, delicious, no fail recipes (hypothetically speaking), and mouth watering photography. But then it may just be because my friends and family are the bulk of my readership. I tease. Whatever it is, I write about what I love, and therefore have enjoyed and still enjoy every minute; that is success to me.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?

The people you get to know. There are incredible people in the blogging community, and I love making tangible connections with them.

How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary choices and food experience?

It’s a major part of our culinary life because we eat as seasonally and locally as we can, directly contributing to our local society; hopefully for the better.

If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?

Avocado Key Lime Pie. It’s so good, fresh, and you’d never know it was made from mostly avocados.

Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently. To what do you attribute this growth in interest?

It seems with our economic recession, many in our country are looking for ways to increase their talents and learn how to do things on their own. However I feel most people try to discover new things and increase their knowledge regardless of economy.

I have also noticed people are starting to really pay attention to what they eat. Not necessarily for weight loss, or dieting, but they are paying attention to the pure foods they eat, where it comes from, and the impact it has not only on their bodies, but everyone and everything involved. With the wealth of knowledge that is easily available, responsibility is being acknowledged, and people are taking those responsibilities seriously.

How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah?

I know when I read other food blogs, I learn more about myself and reconsider what I think is important. Even though I am only one person, my everymeal (rather than everyday) choices reflect those ideas most important to me. When I share those ideas with others, I hope they go through the same process I am continually experiencing, re-evaluating what is important to them and maybe making small changes to better their food life and therefore shaping the food culture around them.

Gastronomic Salt Lake City

www.gastronomicslc.com

1. There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success. What separates your blog apart from the rest?

I think consistency is important. A consistency of quality and a consistency of frequency. A blog is so easy to start, yet so hard to keep going both in terms of momentum of posting and maintaining quality control. I like to think readers recognize those blogs that go the extra mile, and I hope I am one of those!

2. What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?

Getting to meet a lot of people in the local food industry has been especially fun. From restaurateurs, through servers, cooks and other food writers – it is great to see all the different perspectives on food.

And of course the feedback from visitors to the site, in terms of both comments and queries. For every person that might agree with me on a restaurant or dish, you can bet there is another is diametrically opposed. I like a spirited debate, it would be boring if we all agreed all the time!

3. How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary
choices and food experience?

I do like how Salt Lake City is something of a hidden dining secret. People come from out of state with so many preconceptions and often expect something completely different. Then they realize that SLC is nothing like they thought. We have such a diverse culinary scene, often surpassing cities far larger. When people explore what SLC has to offer they are often taken aback; whether than be outstanding operations like Caputo’s, world class sushi from the likes of Takashi, or the fact that we have so many internationally recognized, award winning brewers.

4. If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?

I thought our review of Frida Bistro was great:
http://www.gastronomicslc.com/2010/03/14/frida-bistro-restaurant-review/

5. Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently. To what do you attribute this growth in interest?

It feels like this has been growing for some time. I wouldn’t like to say for certain what has spurred the growth but it’s obvious people are scrutinizing what they eat more and more. They want to know where their ingredients are coming from, what is in season, whats sustainable, and increasingly are far more educated. Thankfully SLC has everything a budding foodie needs to support their endeavors.

Omar’s Rawtopia restaurant review from Gastronomic Salt Lake City

Kalyn’s Kitchen

http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/

1. There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success.  What separates your blog apart from the rest?
The thing that distinguished Kalyn’s Kitchen from most other food blogs is the emphasis on using low-glycemic ingredients.  I started my blog when I’d been converted to eating in accorance with principles of The South Beach Diet.  More than give years later, I still follow that way of eating in my recipes, and many people who are trying to lose weight use my blog to help in their search for low-glycemic recipe options.

2. What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?
There are two things about blogging that I’ve found very rewarding.  The first one is meeting other fellow food lovers.  I’ve made many blogging friends, both online and in real life, and sharing this type of passion with like-minded people has been so much fun.  The second that’s been rewarding for me has been hearing from readers who’ve lost weight following my recipes and have written to thank me for the blog.  I get those types of messages every day, and they really keep me going.

3. How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary choices and food experience?
I have to confess that since my focus is on whether ingredients are low on the glycemic index more than anything else, Utah food culture probably affects me much less than it does many other bloggers, although  I’ve featured a few local Utah foods (such as Cafe Rio Salad Dressing) when they fit with my way of eating.  I do occasionally write about local restaurants as well, although they are not restaurant “reviews”, merely me writing about restaurants I like! I do feel lucky to live in a place where I have easy access to good ingredients and can have a garden to grow fresh produce.

4. If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?
Wow, choosing just one entry is extremely hard.  If I went strictly by my stats, the new entry that’s gotten the most traffic would be the index page I created in January of all my recipes that I consider to be phase one for the South Beach Diet!  A recipe post from this year that shows my cooking style and has been very popular is the West African Chicken and Peanut Stew with Chiles, Ginger and Green Onions:  http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/01/recipe-for-west-african-chicken-and.html

5. Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently.  To what do you attribute this growth in interest?
People have to eat, and most people care at least somewhat about eating food that tastes good.  The internet, combined with food coverage on television, has brought easy access to good recipes and other cooking tips directly to the consumer, so now creating good food at home is much easier for everyone, no matter what their level of cooking expertise.

6. How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah?
I’ve been astonished how the number of food blogs in Utah has increased from when I first started.  I do hear often from Utah residents who read my blog, and I assume other Utah food bloggers do as well, so I don’t think there is any doubt that what Utah food bloggers are cooking is impacting what people are cooking in Utah kitchen.  Food bloggers are more likely to keep up with food trends than the average cook, so there must be some transfer of those trends to the average home kitchen.  I also think that many blogs focus on “family cooking” so they help pass on recipes that have become traditional in this area.

Phe/MOM/enon by Holly Hanks

http://phemomenon.blogspot.com

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?

Definitely the friendships that I’ve made throughout the blogging and especially the food blogging community have been much more rewarding than I ever could have expected. I’ve met so many wonderful people and learned so much from them, not only about food, but really in gaining a broader perspective of the world and how many amazing people there are in it.

If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?

Probably my version of a recipe for fantastic soft dinner rolls. They are perfect and easy every time. http://phemomenon.blogspot.com/2009/09/1-bowl-1-hour-perfect-dinner-rolls.html

Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently. To what do you attribute this growth in interest?

I think the changes in the economy have affected our culture and lifestyle in ways that may not have been obvious at first. People are trying to simplify and save money and being able to entertain at home has become a more viable option than going out to eat. I think that the surge in interest is due to the increase in the number of people who now want to learn how to cook for themselves.

How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah?

We actually have a large number of food bloggers here in Utah. I created a group blog where food bloggers can meet and mingle, and readers can find a list of local food bloggers that they may not have known about before. We have already had a few get-togethers with the group and have plans to have more events throughout the year. The blog, called The Hive, can be found at http://pioneerpalate.blogspot.com

 

Prudence Pennywise

http://prudencepennywise.blogspot.com/

There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success.  What separates your blog apart from the rest?

I’ve been fortunate to attract a group of kind and loyal readers.  Most of my readers arrive by word of mouth.  I’m glad that they want to pass on my blog to others; I consider it a great compliment, actually.  I feel a responsibility to provide delicious recipes made from common ingredients with fun and interesting content.  I’m grateful for all of the kind comments and encouragement that I receive.  I credit my readers for any success that comes my way.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?
Every aspect of blogging has been rewarding.  I love the process of creating new recipes and figuring out how to write about that recipe in a way that relates to events in life.  When I get positive feedback, I’m over the moon.   If I can help someone get into the kitchen, save a little money, and have a cheerful day, then I’m paid back tenfold.
If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?

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Pork Belly Redux (AKA That Rocked My World) from She Craves

She Craves by Vanessa Chang

http://shecraves.typepad.com/

There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success. What separates your blog apart from the rest?

**Blogs have been accusingly called tools of egoism. And I’m not
ashamed to say mine is. It was created for solely selfish purposes —
I needed/wanted a repository for the type of writing and musings I
wasn’t allowed to share at the writings gigs I had at the time. You
could say it’s a soapbox, a confessional, a kitchen counter. But She
Craves exists on the premise of no bullshit. It’s all me. How I eat
(or don’t eat), how I cook, the anxieties I have in the kitchen and
beyond. Which suits me just fine since I’m not very detail-oriented or
meticulous when it comes to cooking. My food blog is more about
sentiment and evocation then the best recipe file. But that’s always
been my relationship with food.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog?

**The people I get to interact with. It’s amazing to get an e-mail or
a comment from someone in Italy or Denmark. First to be acknowledged
by another soul and then to be given props by this total stranger is a
touching act. I am humbled and elated simultaneously.

How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary choices and food experience?

** The obvious answer and one that i’m frankly kind of sick of is the
“well, it isn’t INSERT-LARGER-METRO-AREA-HERE.” If we were striving to
be San Francisco posers than we would be missing hte point. Granted,
there isn’t the selection or diversity, but the food track the state
has taken points out an exciting stage where lots of new things are
happening. This is the type of environment where consumers — you and
me — actually have an immediately impact on what’s being sold at the
farmers’ markets, what’s on the menu. Other cities that are considered
food meccas are already “there.” Utah is coming to and we can all be
part of it. If you have a garden, you can create your own food
experience. If you cook for yourself, you can have a different food
experience. If you support good local restaurants and try the
specials, the more obscure ingredients or dishes, you are taking part
of the next big thing in local food culture.

If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be?

That’s hard since people visit for various motives. But I have a soft
spot for the creme fraiche post
(http://shecraves.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/08/creme_fraiche.html).
It addresses this idea that good food is always fancy and therefore
inaccessible. I wanted to share tricks I learned and how you can take
two inexpensive, simple things and make them stretch by creating a
third, amazingly delicious product that itself on a store shelf would
cost a lot. We’ve lost our confidence in the kitchen. I wanted people
to be emboldened to a.) make creme fraiche and b.) actually use it in
everything. Right now, strawberries, creme fraiche and a dusting of
muscovado sugar is bliss.

Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently. To what do you attribute this growth in interest?

** Most recently, it’s the economy. Saving money by cooking or growing
your own food. We have a thing of wanting to be like other cultures.
But in this recession, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that we’ve
been forced to recalibrate and re-prioritize what’s more important:
the powerboat? or many weekends of great dinner get togethers with
really good ingredients from local stores and the farmers markets.
Getting back to food is realigns us with connection — to the land, to
others and to ourselves. It can be scary and it’s also intensely
rewarding.

How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah?

** To this affect I’m not quite sure. There’s certainly a growing
community of Utah food bloggers with common interests, not to metion
the dining review sites that offer insight on the latest and greatest
venues. The way I see it, the more people openly talk about food, the
better. For the longest time, such food talk was deemed only for
“snobs” or people who had a supernatural gift for food. Food is for
everybody. Even the good stuff. So the more people talk about their
recipes, where they learned it, when they first had it, when they like
to serve it, it gets us out of this puritannical mode of food being
something vulgar or naughty.

Stephanie’s Kitchen by Stephanie Younger

www.stephanieskitchen.com

There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success. What separates your blog apart from the rest? There are so many great food blogs out there. I try to make mine original. Most of my recipes on my blog are ones that I have created from scratch. Sometimes it takes me multiple tries in the kitchen to get a recipe perfect. It takes a lot of time, but it gives me a sense of pride to have accomplished that. I also love the photography side of food blogging. I think that is what reals people in. If you have a mouthwatering photo, someone is more likely to read more.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of running a food blog? I love to read the comments from my readers when they have tried my recipes and found success.

How does life in Utah and local culture affect your culinary choices and food experience? Utah has it’s own array of recipes out there. I love to find those recipes and put my own spin on them.

If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be? I love my most recent post – mini apple pies. This is a spin on a classic recipe that is so much fun to make and eat.

How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah? Food blogging has become so popular in the last year. It actually surprised me to find out that so many of them are here in Utah. It just goes to show that Utah is filled with talented and creative people who love to share that love of food with others.

Lemon Raspberry Bars from Two Peas and their Pod

Two Peas and their Pod by Maria and Josh Lichty, the “cooking couple.”

www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

There are countless food blogs, yet yours has seen great success. What separates your blog apart from the rest? I think the wife and husband team appeals to people. I write most of the posts and take the food photos, but the cooking and baking is a team effort. We are both very passionate about food and enjoy creating recipes together. Our kitchen is always a fun place to be. And yes, my husband does the dishes:)

If you had to pick one entry on your blog from this year as a favorite to new readers, which would it be? I am known for my cookies. I love dreaming up new recipes and sharing them with friends, family, and neighbors. There is nothing better than a freshly baked cookie with a glass of milk on the side. It is hard to pick just one, but I really like my Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt. I love the sweet and salty combination and the caramel center is to die for. The recipe is here: http://twopeasandtheirpod.com/chocolate-caramel-cookies-with-sea-salt/

Interest in food and culinary arts has seemingly surged recently. To what do you attribute this growth in interest? I think more families are eating at home due to the poor economy. Families are trying to fix tasty, affordable meals at home and food bloggers have a lot of fantastic recipes to offer.

How does food blogging affect and create food culture in Utah? Utah has a lot of wonderful food bloggers. I have met several of them. We love getting together to talk food, share recipes, tips, and cook and eat together. I love how food brings people together.

Check out our new story on the 4 Best food and beer parings in Salt Lake City.

Comments

  1. Awesome food

  2. RSchiffman says:

    This was a lot of fun to read. I follow several local restaurant bloggers including the two here. They are fun to read, but you really have to take an extended amount of time to learn about the bloggers. None of them actually tell you enough up front to know how much credence to give them. I was following one blog and they tried raw oysters at some restaurant and said it was their first time. Other blogs will come out with lines like never having had some fairly common fish, or pretty common French dish, I have to remember that I’m reading about people new to dining out, no matter what they say. At that point I can enjoy my trip with them, rather than take the food quality recommendations too seriously. I would like to believe these writers have been to thousands of restaurants covering everything street food in the third World to Michelin starred restaurants in enough countries to actually understand what food culture really is.

    The interviews here don’t help with that either. I’m not in the camp that says everyone has to professional diner to write a blog, but I’d also like to know what level of diner I’m dealing with too. Rarely do we get that level of transparency.

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